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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Interview with Mark J. Ferrari

Order “The Book of JobyHERE
Read Excerpts HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s REVIEW of “The Book of Joby

Every once in a while, a novel comes along that doesn’t quite get the respect or fanfare that it deserves, even though it’s an amazing book and deserves to be read by as many people as possible. Mark J. Ferrari’sThe Book of Joby” is one of those books, and even though I’m just a nobody with a blog, I’m hoping to do my part in correcting this little oversight. My first goal was to speak with the author himself, and thankfully Mr. Ferrari was onboard to answer a few questions. Like the book, the interview ended up even better than expected, and is a comprehensive, informative and thoroughly entertaining glimpse into the magical world of Mark J. Ferrari who is as great an individual as he is a storyteller. So sit back and let Mark tell you about his inspiration for “The Book of Joby”, the key to believable characters & dialogue, his thoughts on the future of fantasy/SF, and so much more. Once again, my thanks to Mr. Ferrari for participating in the interview and to any readers who give “The Book of Joby” a chance:

Q: According to this FAQ on your website, you explain why you switched from being an artist to a writer, but could you explain in more detail why you decided to write “The Book of Joby” first, your journey in finding a publisher (and why Tor), and what it felt like to finally see your book in stores?

Mark: Wow. That’s a lot to explain.

I’ll start with “Why ‘The Book of Joby’?” The shortest answer is that this story was simply the first viable idea to present itself after I’d finally acknowledged a serious interest in writing.

The more accurate (and much longer) answer is provided in the following excerpt taken from the Tor/Forge press release sent out with the novel:

“This novel accumulated something like a fossil bed, one layer at a time over many, many years. In part it was simply inspired by the kinds of experience I had as a kid reading fantasy. ‘What would I do if I were that character in the middle of such a story? Would being that protagonist turn out to be as much fun as it was to read about, or would being a hero turn out to be a lot more frightening and confusing than the stories make it sound?’

Many, many years later, I found myself living in a tiny, isolated, and unbelievably picturesque coastal town in Northern California. If there are any magical places on this real earth, that place is one. Living there, it became easy – almost inevitable – to find myself once again contemplating the magical potential of everyday life – of living inside some remarkable story. During my 15 years there, I was profoundly privileged to be welcomed very deeply into the life of a community that the flocks of tourists filling our town’s streets never see. At no time in my life have I ever felt as fully ‘at home’ as I did living in that town, and do not expect ever to feel so much at home again. I have never encountered such a concentration of exquisitely creative and idiosyncratic individuals, nor found children so full of life and expectation, creative play, so prone to dream aloud, or so comfortable with themselves and each other as I did doing volunteer work with small town’s schools. Those students taught me as much or more about what life could be, maybe should be – about what I might do – even about who I was, than anyone anywhere ever had before – and I was in my mid thirty’s by then.

One year, three of those children, among the town’s brightest and best, died in separate, unrelated accidents, spaced almost exactly two months apart. It began to seem ‘intentional’ in some horrible way. The town’s official population at that time was 1,100 people. We nearly all knew each other personally. To say that the community was rocked by this triple punch does not begin to do the ordeal justice. Because of my long involvement with the town’s schools, and thus these children and their families and friends, I was invited more deeply than one might expect into the grieving processes that all of us were touched by to one degree or another. By far the greatest impact these events had on me came not from the deaths themselves, but from the remarkably genuine, probing, and communal ways these kids’ families, friends, and community dealt with their loss. At some point in life, I suspect most people are moved to ask such questions as, Why do such bad things happen to such good people? If there is a God, why doesn’t he intervene? What does one do about anger – one’s own, or other peoples? What is justice, and how much ought one do in pursuit of it? How much control can we have over the world around us, and how far should one go to seize such control? That year these questions were asked on an almost daily basis by an entire community for ten months or more.

This novel does not even attempt to answer any of these questions. It was merely inspired by all of them. Watching that remarkable community struggle with these questions in their own remarkable ways left me changed in many ways, and set me to imagining what the protagonists in the books I have always loved to read would do in an adventure where absolutely nothing ever went as it should, for reasons no one could explain or even guess at. One night, as I lay in bed, I realized that the biblical story of Job was the perfect framework to hang such a story on, the Arthurian icons and ‘fairy worlds’ of my childhood fantasies, the perfect character set in which to clothe that remarkable community of eccentric saints and bodhisattvas. The rest tumbled out almost of its own accord.”

Next, my journey toward a publisher, and “Why Tor?”:

Like everything else about this book, this was somewhat weird as well.

First, while writing the book, I was extremely fortunate to have very significant editorial help from a well known and respected freelance editor named Debbie Notkin, whom I had known for many years. Working with her over several years and various versions of this book was not only crucial in my own education about how to write well at all, but also, I suspect, lent a certain credibility to the project along the way. People in the business probably figured that if Debbie had been helping me with this, it might not be a total fool’s errand. (More on this in response to the next question on your list.)

Also, because I’d been known and generously welcome for a number of years in the science fiction/fantasy community as a professional illustrator, I was allowed opportunities at various science fiction conventions I attended to do readings from this book while it was still in progress. Thus, by the time it was finished, lots of people, some of them established authors and professional editors, already knew of its existence and had heard that it was ‘pretty good’. Within months of completing the manuscript, I was approached by a mid-sized science fiction/fantasy publisher who I will not explicitly name here for various reasons, and offered a publication deal. They seemed a very good fit, both for me and for my rather unusual book, and I worked with them very happily for nearly two years preparing for a pretty well publicized release date as one of their “spotlight selections” for 2004.

Oddly, they were still negotiating a contract with my agent months before the ostensible May release date, which, in hindsight, should have tipped me off that something was wrong. A month and a half before it was supposed to hit the shelves, that publisher announced that – for reasons still unclear to this day – they would have to cancel a number of their intended 2004 titles, including mine. After nearly two years of working with them, and with quite a lot of people anticipating the release by then, this seemed like pretty bad luck at the time. But it has become axiomatic with me that one never can tell what one’s luck means ‘at the time.’ When people ask me how I’m doing these days, I often suggest that they ask me a year later, as I will probably not know much before then how I was really doing today.

Having publicized the impending book very well, and then cutting me loose at the last minute, it seems this previous publisher had made David Hartwell, (now my editor at Tor), aware of the book, and made it and me available as I might not have been for many years had the earlier publisher actually followed through. In hindsight, it seems clear to me now that by mishandling things as they did, that earlier publisher probably did me quite a favor. My agent brought the book to Tor, and Tor elected to buy it. That was three years ago. I know many talented aspiring writers who are gracious not to hold such a straight path into the light against me. I am extremely grateful for the way things have unfolded, though I would not have imagined saying so for a few months after that first publication date had come and gone.

As to how it feels to see my book on the shelves, it’s rather surreal, as you might imagine. It’s been six years now since I finished the original draft. Though I’ve done a few very enjoyable signing events already, and the book is being very well received even in a number of unexpected quarters, it’s actually taking some time to sink in that it really is out there finally, finding an audience, and, apparently, not just a really good trick being played on me by … someone. I have had to buy a few copies in the stores lately, for people I wanted to give it to right away, and I find myself feeling almost frightened that the register clerk is going to recognize my name on the book, and make me explain what I’m doing there – as if I were getting away with something off-color. Other times, I just laugh quietly … when no one’s there to hear.

Okay, so much for question #1. … I don’t envy you the editing task I’m leaving you here.

Q: That’s quite the response there ;) Let’s see how the others stack up… Since “The Book of Joby” is your first novel, what did you think was the most challenging part about writing the book? What about the easiest?

Mark: As I’ve mentioned on my website, while the hardest part about illustration for me was often getting started, the hardest thing about writing for me has often been making myself stop. Quite literally. I just love to write. Too much sometimes. It’s like watching a long movie in my head, which I’ve got to translate to paper as quickly and expressively as possible. Time almost ceases to exist while I’m at it, and there have been times when I’ve sat down at my desktop after breakfast and looked up half an hour later to find the sun setting. Thus it may come as no surprise to learn that half my writing process is subtractive. All this stuff gushes out, and I spend nearly as much time trying to remove the huge amounts of ‘literary packing peanuts’ in which the actual story is left swimming. My agent recently nudged me about the possibility of writing a short story, and I practically panicked. I’ll very happily turn out another epic novel anytime it’s wanted, but please, PLEASE, don’t ask me to do anything as frightening as a SHORT story! That’s too much like magic. You’d need someone like Jay Lake for that.

Q: LOL. So did you learn anything from writing “The Book of Joby” and what was it?

Mark: I can think of several funny answers to this question, about the risks of putting lines into the mouth of God in a first novel, or the stupidity of using your entire career’s supply of villains in the first book, (There are nearly thirty villains of various size and significance in "The Book of Joby", I believe.), but I will offer a serious answer instead, because honesty demands it. The most important thing I learned from writing "The Book of Joby" was how to write. Again, I must leap to say that my friend, and unbelievably gifted and patient editorial mentor, Debbie Notkin, had everything to do with showing me how MUCH I needed to learn about how MANY things I was doing badly, or not doing at all at first, and somehow managing to do it without ever making me feel foolish or discouraged. How, you ask? I still can’t say, exactly. The miracle was so smoothly accomplished that I only appreciated its true dimensions much later when I went back to look at the earliest, and truly awful, manuscript I showed her back in 1996, and wondered why she didn’t simply run screaming into the woods, after reading the first few pages, or more appropriately, drive me off to do so. I owe her … a great deal.

Q: How do you feel about the way “The Book of Joby” turned out? Do you wish there was anything you could go back and change or add?

Mark: “The Book of Joby” has actually benefited from the somewhat lengthy, sometimes tortured path to publication it enjoyed. It has been edited three times by three different editors, (including Debbie), and therefore had time to be re-visited and recomposed several times with years of new experience and perspective between iterations. As a result, I’m pretty happy about its current state, and feel it’s about as good as it can be. The seemingly remarkable percentage of readers who claim to have enjoyed it when they’re done seems to back up my sense that this one’s fairly whole as is.

Q: As you mentioned above, Taubolt is inspired by an actual coastal town in California and that some of your experiences as a child were also inspirations. What other personal experiences might have made their way into the book (and why did you include them)?

Mark: If I answer this one, editing this interview will have to become your life’s work. I’ll just skirt the issue by saying that almost everything in “The Book of Joby” points back to something or someone in my own life, but none of the things pointed to bore much if any resemblance to anything in the book. Joby’s childhood was not remotely my own childhood, his friends were not my friends, his parents are not my parents, etc., but the grist for all of them was somewhere in my own experiences. I imagine most writers could say the same.

Q: Could you elaborate on why you thought the Bible’s Book of Job “was the perfect frame on which to hang such a story”, why the Arthurian legend was such a prominent influence in the book, and how you thought to mix the two?

Mark: You know …. You do not ask simple questions, do you.

In simplest terms, the original story of Job is of a man enduring consequences utterly incongruous with anything he’s done or tried to do. We’re all taught as children that if we do certain things, certain good results will follow, and that if we do certain other things certain bad results will follow, but that seems rarely to be how things really happen in the world. In fact, I think that’s a great deal of what the original story of Job was about – a story written to a culture that was deeply invested in the idea that if good or bad things happened to you it was because you’d done something to cause it or deserve it. The writer was telling that culture not to be absurd and pointlessly judgmental. My story was also about people enduring really difficult events that simply bore no rational relationship to what they deserved or should have expected, so it seemed a match. The Arthurian element was, in part, an artifact of my own lifelong, personal mythological paradigm, and thus a good reflection of my own ‘Joby’s’ character, and in part yet another traditional story about people enduring outcomes that seemed tragically inappropriate to what they’d set out to do, and worked so hard and so well for the most part, to bring about instead.

Q: Obviously there are some strong Christian overtones in “The Book of Joby”, but I never got the impression that you were trying to make a religious statement either for or against Christianity, and I think you explain yourself clearly about the subject in your FAQ. That said, is there a message in the novel that you want readers to grasp?

Mark: There are, in fact, several themes woven through the story, which, to me at least, seem related.

One is this idea of trying to come to some terms with a world where the correlation between what you put in and what you get out so often seems to make so little of the sense many of us have been led to assume it should. My own struggle with this quandary has led me to the belief that enlightenment doesn’t make the pool much warmer. The enlightened just learn to have a much better time in the same old pretty cold pool.

The second theme is an exploration of the fierce conviction most of us fall into at least momentarily sooner or later, that everything would be perfect in the world if all those stupid, wrong headed people could just be made to do it my way. The novel is full of characters, old and young, rich and poor, liberal and conservative, Christian and not, extremely well intended or wickedly self-serving, who are so focused on the rightness of their agenda that they’ll do all kinds of damage to everything around them as they march like Sherman to the sea toward that perfect world they envision.

The third theme woven through the book has to do with the nature of justice, the various things that term can be used to mean, and what costs and/or benefits those various definitions can engender. There are things called ‘justice’ in the world that make whole, and things called ‘justice’ in the world that only wound and destroy even the wielders of them. Among other things, Joby has to sort through choices about what kind(s) of ‘justice’ he will choose before his quest is finished, and what will most truly do ‘justice’ to himself as well as to those around him.

Q: That’s some good stuff. Characterization I thought was a real strength in “The Book of Joby”, particularly the characters’ complex emotions. Who was the most difficult character to write in the book and why? What about easiest? And lastly, is there a favorite character?

Mark: Thanks! In my opinion, credible characters with credible agendas and motivations are at the core of any very satisfying, effective story in any genre. The story’s ideas don’t give its characters meaning. The characters give the story’s ideas meaning. But, I’d really have to say that they’re all my favorites. I like apples for entirely different reasons than I like oranges, but characters that aren’t favorites in one way or another – protagonist or villain - rarely end up staying in my story for long. If I believe them, I like them – whether I approve of them or not.

The easiest to write were the ‘divine’ characters, because I was making little if any attempt to capture ‘the real thing’ ‘accurately.’ I don’t know God or Lucifer or any angels or demons nearly well enough to write anything ‘accurate’ about them. (And, yeah, I wrote that line with my tongue shoved ALL the way up in one cheek). They weren’t really there to function as ‘characters’ in the same way that Joby, Laura, Ben, Hawk, Crombie, and the other mortals were. The divine characters were really just there as a kind of container for the story – cosmic comic relief to soften the grim parts, and a kind of ‘greek chorus’ to soft-shoe in sometimes to observe and comment on what’s happening in the ‘real’ drama of Joby and his fellow mortals. Therefore, they could be written more as, hopefully, entertainingly familiar icons than as fully three-dimensional people.

I think the hardest character to write was Rose, because her character was inspired by a girl I didn’t know well enough to write accurately before she was gone, but knew well enough to know that she was way to fine to do justice too easily. So I just tried to write a character who wasn’t even trying to be the original, but still managed to convey some of what made the original matter so much to everyone around her. I must leave it to those who knew her much, much better than I to determine how I did.

Q: Dialogue was also superb. What’s the key to writing strong dialogue?

Mark: I think it helps to read dialogue aloud, make sure that it actually sounds like speech when spoken. It helps to be a natural mimic, which I happen to be. I have a feel for what people stick in their verbal expressions, redundancies, pauses, nonsense sounds, affectations – and just as importantly – what they leave out, such as half the words in every other sentence.

Then, when I’ve written something that sounds and feels like speech to me when read aloud, I go back through it and try to make sure I haven’t left in two ‘really great’ ways to say the same thing, that everything they’re saying actually supplies some information about what’s happening, who they are, what they’re after, etc, that hasn’t been supplied already, and that adds something quantifiable to the story. If it doesn’t meet all those criteria, no matter how cool it sounds, it’s probably got to go. … Of course, I am well aware that some of my editorial mentors will be rolling their eyes as they read this, wondering when I’m actually going to practice any of what I’m preaching here. But I do try. No, I really do! … No really!

Q: Another great thing about “The Book of Joby” is that it’s a standalone novel. How hard was it to fit the entire story into one volume?

Mark: Fitting it all into one publishable volume was hard. … Very hard. … Very, very hard. The last major revision I did involved removing 150 pages … so they could fit a sufficient number of books into a shipping container. … No, really!

Q: As a whole, I thought “The Book of Joby” was a brilliantly told story from start to finish. In your opinion, what makes a story work successfully?

Mark: I think the best stories are the ones you simply feel such an almost involuntary need to tell, that you can’t stop yourself from trying – and trying, no matter how many times someone or something tries to stop you.

Q: In your own words, Debbie Notkin played a crucial role in making you the writer that you are today, and that you’ve improved immensely from your earliest manuscripts. In what ways would you like to become a better writer?

Mark: In future works, I simply hope to distill the most powerful images and ideas down even further than I was able to here. I have heard poetry called “condensed language.” I see no reason why prose should not often read more like poetry in this regard than mine often does to date.

Q: Speaking of future works, I believe you’ve recently completed or are close to finishing your second fantasy novel. Can you tell us any more about this book as well as any other projects that you’re working on?

Mark: I am reticent to say too much about it for a variety of reasons, but I am hoping to have my next novel finished well before Christmas. It is the first book in a fantasy trilogy completely unrelated to "The Book of Joby", set in the not too distant future just as the developed world is climbing out from under the rubble of a catastrophic pandemic wave of psychosis that manifests in an inexplicable waking dream state and a mighty powerful thirst to shop! Our protagonist discovers, among other things, that although the cataclysm occurred decades before he was born, he is, nonetheless, partly responsible for causing it. Things go on from there. The current working title is, “If Dreams Die.” Your guess is as good as mine about what it will actually be called by the time it hits the shelves

Q: Well hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for that book, because it sounds pretty interesting :) As I try to control my excitement, let’s tackle the next question. Even though writing has become your number one priority, you still provide background/concept art for a computer gaming company, and I believe you did the artwork for your debut novel. What was that like, drawing the cover for your own book, and what are your thoughts on the topic as a whole?

Mark: Actually, while my artwork was originally intended for “The Book of Joby’s” cover, it didn’t end up there. Late in the process, the cover was redesigned by others for marketing reasons entirely to my, and the book’s, benefit. The little dragon breathing fire on the title text was cropped from the piece of art originally intended for the cover, though.

After several decades as a commercial illustrator, I have pages and pages of opinion about the nature and significance of cover art in publishing and marketing, and to show my profound appreciation for the honor you do me with this interview, I’m going to spare you all of that here. :)

Q: Well I’m sure we’ll all end up appreciating that ;). Moving on, it’s not uncommon to see books adapted into movies, comic books, television or other formats and I think your novel would make a great film, or perhaps even a graphic novel or comic book. Has there been any interest in the book or anything optioned for adaptation (of any kind) yet, and if so, can you give us some details?

Mark: Though the book has been officially released for two weeks already, Hollywood has still not called. Frankly, I can’t imagine what they’re waiting for. I’ve even written whole scenes into the book just to give those special effects guys something to do!

Eagerly awaiting their call, and, knowing how they’ll appreciate any assistance I could offer, I have already cast the entire film in my head. Jeremy Irons will be playing Lucifer, of course, and Jake Gyllenhaal, the adult Joby. Julianne Moore should make a smashing adult Laura, and Ben Affleck will get a chance to redeem himself as the grown-up ‘Ben’. (After all, the whole thing’s about redemption, right?) Matthew McConaughey will be great as Michael, I’m sure, Nicole Kidman will be perfect as Kallaystra, Keanu Reeves as Gabriel, Paul Newman as The Creator, and the entire cast of High School Musical should just cover all the younger characters, etc. etc. etc. The only downside, of course, is that since virtually every star in LA will be cast in The Book of Joby, there will be no one available to make other films that year, but hey, who’ll want to see other films when they could be seeing The Book of Joby over and over and over again all summer long?

But seriously, as soon as those media guys get the memo, I will keep you informed. :)

Q: What about you as a writer? Are you interested in branching out into a different medium (comic books, television, movie scripts, videogames, etc.) or trying out a genre besides fantasy? If so, what and why?

Mark: I learned years ago that the quickest way to end up doing something I thought I’d never do, was to say, “I’m sure I’ll never do that.” That, for instance, is how I got into the computer game industry. Having said that, I am sooooo enjoying writing just now that I have no desire to do anything for the foreseeable future except write one more book after another, and another… But hey, if something equally engaging comes along, I have never been good at turning such opportunities down. I do love film. Same answer in regard to genre: I really, really like contemporary fantasy, and the next five or six novels I have outlined are all fantasy set in contemporary settings, but you know, I tend to be a little sloppy about genre boundaries at the best of times. Just ask my long suffering agent. So…who knows what border I might drift across in pursuit of a good story someday?

Q: As an artist, you were involved with sci-fi/fantasy for seventeen years, covering all areas including publishing, film, videogames, et cetera. What are your thoughts on the genres’ evolution since you first started and where do you see science fiction and fantasy going in the future?

Mark: Yikes! You really aren’t much better at ‘short’ stories than I am, are you?

Well, in the smallest possible nutshell, I would point out that fifty to a hundred years ago, “Western” art and literature, (as in cowboys, Indians, OK Corral, etc), were regarded as irredeemably adolescent material fit only for ‘penny dreadfuls’ to titillate little boys. By the 1970’s “Western Art,” was one of the most lucrative “fine art” markets in the United States and Europe. The subject matter had passed from novel, ‘current frontier’ themes into well established - even nostalgic -‘historical’ ones deemed appropriate for the finest households and museums.

All those ‘kids’ who rushed to see Star Wars thirty years ago are middle aged now. Things depicted in those films, and episodes of Star Trek, have become more and more pervasive components of our wider culture and legitimate technological landscape. (Remember when Captain Kirk’s flip-open, cell phone sized communicator seemed preposterous?). Harry Potter and the latest batch of Lord Of The Rings movies have clearly made fantasy a far more ‘main stream’ commercial interest. I suspect that within the next twenty to thirty years sci-fi/fantasy art and literature will become as ‘main stream’ and ‘culturally legitimate’ as Western art did before them and Impressionism did before them. In fact, referring back to an earlier question, my novel’s cover was changed from the more overt ‘fantasy’ cover I had designed to the more ‘main stream literary’ cover it now enjoys precisely in deference to the larger ‘main stream’ audience that such overt fantasy literature can now credibly be marketed to. … It’s already well along the way to happening.

In my opinion, the next big shift will - and should - be at least some softening of all these previously rigid genre boundaries in literature and media. I suspect that’s really what the whole “magic realism” movement is about: the emerging concession that even ‘normal people’ crave some sense of wonder, wild imagination, and miraculous potential in their lives, not just the hardcore sci-fi/fantasy crowd. So we’re creating ‘literarily legitimate’ fantasy, horror and sci-fi for them too, by calling it ‘magic realism’ and ‘speculative fiction.’ I look forward to the day when marketing agendas and stratagems have become flexible enough to let a story go wherever it needs to go to be the story it wants to be.

(FYI: The image above, called "The Dream", was the artwork originally planned for incorporation into the cover before being passed over in favor of a design tuned to reach a wider audience.)

Q: What a wonderful answer! I truly hope that I’ll get to see that day :) So. Are there any preconceived notions that you’d like to dispel about being an artist? What about as a writer?

Mark: Sure. To begin with, the idea that we’re all poor as church mice, and incapable of any practical skills. Anyone who really takes the time to look carefully will soon realize that we’re all poor as church mice and incapable of any practical skills for reasons that have nothing to do with being artists.

Got that sorted out now, didn’t we.

Q: Haha, nice. Besides writing & artwork, what other activities or hobbies do you enjoy?

Mark: Backpacking, skiing, cooking, bike riding, travel, swimming, marine invertebrate zoology, asparagus metabolism research… Well, I haven’t really had time to pursue that one yet, but I do keep meaning to get to it.

Q: That’s quite the itinerary ;) What about reading? Anything good lately?

Mark: You mean, today? Well, this questionnaire mostly. Oh, last night?

The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham – really good.

Also recently “Last Light of the Sun,” “Sailing to Sarantium,” and “Lord of Emperors,” by Guy Gavriel Kay, “Mainspring” by Jay Lake, “Little Big” by John Crowley, (for the 20th time), “Moon Called” by Patricia Briggs, the Curse of Chalion series by Lois McMaster Bujold. “Mendosa in Hollywood”, In the Gardens of Iden series by Kage Baker, to name just a few that leap to mind.

Q: That’s a pretty good list. What about new writers?

Mark: I’ve read some fun books for ‘teen readers’ lately. “City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare, and “The Alchemyst” by Michael Scott. Found the first slickly written and fun in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer sort of way, while the book by Scott makes a lot of interesting use of real though somewhat mysterious historical figures and a wide variety of real world mythologies.

Q: Yeah, I’ve heard both of those. Should check definitely check them out sometime. Well, as enjoyable as this has been, all good things must unfortunately come to an end, so do you have any last thoughts or comments you’d like to share?

Mark: “Last thoughts?” … My. That sounds rather ominous. I certainly hope not. :) But I would like to express again my heartfelt appreciation for this opportunity to talk about this pretty exciting moment in my life, and for your interest in, and support of, “The Book of Joby”, which I am so pleased to see finding its audience!

And again, my condolences regarding the editing task this questionnaire places before you! Please do let me know if I can be of any further ‘help.’ :)

Mark

7 comments:

Calibandar said...

Nice interview. I think the first publisher that ended up not publishing Ferrari's book were Meisha Merlin btw.

Robert said...

Glad you enjoyed it :) Thanks for the heads up on the first publisher. I was wondering about that...

Chris, The Book Swede said...

Wow, great interview, Robert :) Mark gave some great answers and seems like a really great guy. I believe my copy is in the post still :)

~Chris

Tia Nevitt said...

Good interview. I'm thinking about featuring this book next.

Robert said...

Thanks! I'm glad you both liked the interview and Chris, I hope you get the book soon, and Tia, if you end up featuring the book, that would be great :) Mark's a very nice individual and don't be afraid to shoot him an email! Thanks again :)

Layton said...

I really enjoyed this interview. I just read and fell in love with this book last week. And you're right about Mark being a nice guy! I emailed him and he got back to me right away AND offered some great advice. I hope this book gets the kind of notice it deserves, and I'd be all about seeing Jake play Joby if and when that day comes around.

Robert said...

Layton, I'm glad you enjoyed the interview and loved the book :) Hopefully more people will jump on the Mark J. Ferrari bandwagon!

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